Friday, October 20, 2006

Long Day

6:15 am to Double Eagle Airport for flight to Hobbs
6:45 am I discover I am at the wrong airport
7:00 am The planes flies from the ABQ Airport and picks me up
8:15 am We arrive at Hobbs for a rally
9:15 am We board a bus for Carlsbad
10:15 am We have a rally
11:30 am We board the bus to Roswell
12:45 pm We have a rally
2:45 pm We board the bus for Ruidoso
4:15 pm We arrive Ruidoso

Two more rallies in Ruidoso tonight.


Anonymous said...

Mr Baca, on your web site, you endorse the Albuquerque HEART ordinance. HEART makes it almost impossible for responsible hobby breeders to preserve their bloodlines. The local Abq. administration has mischaracterized those concerns - loss of a lifetime's work developing and preserving a bloodline - as some kind of profit motive.

Many hunters also breed hunting dogs. These policies would make it impossible to do so. How do you respond to these concerns?

Anonymous said...

HEART does not make it "impossible" to breed dogs. It does now cost more to breed dogs in the City of Albuquerque, lowering the profit of breeders.
Jim has taken a stand for an ordinance that aggressively aims to reduce the euthanasia rate in our city and improve the lives of both animals and people.

Anonymous said...

Actually, yes, HEART does make it virtually impossible for serious breeders to breed dogs.

Not only were the breeders not consulted, but when they tried to raise legitimate concerns, they were treated as dismissively and disrespectfully as your comments indicate.

HEART does not make it impossible for backyard breeders to pump out a few puppies, or for out of town commercial breeders to breed and sell.

It does make it impossible for the serious, ethical breeder to have a personal breeding kennel.

Serious breeders don't normally make a profit anyway, so there is no "profit" to "lower" - ridiculously high fees ($150 per intact dog, plus $500 per litter) simply mean that they lose more money. If that was the only problem, it would be unfair and punitive, but not as horribly destructive as it is.

However, the HEART rules are written so that they devastate serious, ethical breeders. High fees are trivial compared to the loss of bloodlines - which are irreplaceable.

HEART makes it impossible for breeders to keep more than 4 dogs. You cannot have a serious breeding program and maintain adequate genetic diversity with 4 dogs.

Most serious hobby breeders have 10-20 dogs. Most serious hobby breeders breed 1-2 litters per year. No one keeps that many dogs, and breeds that few litters, if money is their goal.

HEART makes it impossible for breeders to breed a dog more than once every 365 days - except dogs are only fertile for a few days approximately every 6-9 months - unlike people, horses, cats, etc, who are fertile much more frequently - so if your dog comes into season a week off, you lose an entire year. No ethical person wants to breed a female too often - but breeding one every 11 1/2 months is forbidden - and you can lose a bloodline with that sort of poorly thought through restriction.

I have 21 dogs. They are literally my life. Just about every disposable dime and every free minute, for both my spouse and I, goes to their care, their comfort, and their wellbeing.

I have NEVER had more than 2 litters in a year here - and I've had more years with zero litters than with two.

I have NEVER broken even, much less made a profit, with them. Both my spouse and I have full time jobs. The dogs are an expensive luxury, not a business.

Your attitude - that those complaining are worried about "lowering the profits of breeders" - is the sort of hostile, meanspirited, and wrongheaded nonsense that has characterized the entire HEART discussion.

NO ONE IS WORRIED ABOUT MAKING A PROFIT. If you are a serious dog breeder, your odds of making a profit are close to zero.

People are worried about losing their bloodlines. Good, ethical, responsible people who have volunteered for rescue, donated money to spay/neuter, and who are NOT the enemy.

These good people are sick and tired of hearing this horse hockey about "less profits." When you're already losing money pursuing a HOBBY, it's hard to make "less profit."

Jim has taken a stand for an ordinance that eliminates hobby breeders in the Albuquerque area. Serious breeders all over the state - all over the country - are up in arms about this.

I thank God I don't live in Albuquerque - but what happens if this horrible ordinance spreads statewide, as Mayor Chavez is threatening to do?

Anonymous said...

Worse than that, it's not just Albuquerque - Albuquerque is already putting the pressure on surrounding communities to adopt HEART - and its Mayor is planning on lobbying the state legislature to adopt HEART statewide.

That would mean anywhere you live in NM, if you have a hunting dog you want to keep intact, to keep your bloodline going, you have to pay $150 per intact dog per year (whether you ever breed or not) and $150 per litter.

You can't have more than 4 dogs if ANY of them are intact.

This would crush hunting dog breeders statewide.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Albuquerque ordinance seems to be largely from the attitude of the folks pushing it. "All breeders are evil money grubbers" seems to have been the ruling philosphy.

Most dog laws in most places acknowledge that the "serious" breeders mentioned in the posts above - the folks who belong to clubs that have code of ethics that require pre-placement education, that require that the breeder take the pup back and rehome it for its entire life if it becomes displaced, and that require every other imaginable sort of responsible behavior - that those folks are not trying to make a profit.

In fact, if you're going to buy a deliberately bred puppy, those breeders are where you want to go.

HEART makes no distinction between the good guys doing the right thing, and the careless and irresponsible. So, because it was written by folks who know nothing about responsible dog breeding, HEART hurts the responsible people and does essentially nothing to the irresponsible.

Don't know about you, but that's NOT my idea of a good law. Given that there's a push by its advocates to take it statewide, and given that Baca has praised the law, seems appropriate for Baca to comment on these problems with the law and explain how he would address them. Otherwise, there isn't going to be a well-bred show dog or working dog or hunting dog in NM.

Anonymous said...

The HEART ordinance will hopefully save thousands lives from euthanasia in city shelters. It also draws attention to standards that those who are priviledged to share their home with an animal, need to adhere to.

It is sad that it needs to be mandatory that individuals provide food, water and shelter to their animals, but considering the number of cruelty cases that involve starving, dehydrated and ill animals, it is.

HEART is nesscessary corral and inform those people who are irresponsible and cruel. Simply because some may consider themselves "above" needing restrictions on their practices, does not mean that those who are irresponsible do not need to be stopped and the public informed to turn them in.

HEART will save lives and help animals enjoy a happier and healthier life here in Albuquerque. We should be proud that we have recieved national recognition as one of the most animal and dog-friendly cities in the country.

Anonymous said...

No one claims they are above taking proper care of their animals.

Every other locality I am familiar with, has made an effort to distinguish between irresponsible and responsible owners, and has carefully written its laws not to inadvertently punish the responsible, while protecting animals from irresponsible owners.

That's good law. Punish only the guilty.

HEART made no such distinction.

Further, it was written so as to punish the most responsible, ethical breeders, who were already behaving in an exemplary fashion.

That's wrong. HEART has made it impossible to be a serious, ethical breeder in Albuquerque. It didn't need to do so.

HEART makes it impossible to keep a kennel with adequate genetic diversity. Most serious breeders have more than 4 dogs. You can't have a serious program with 4 dogs.

Ironically, HEART allows 4 litters per year (more than the vast majority of serious breeders will ever produce in a single year - 1-2 per year is typical) - but it forbids keeping more than 4 dogs if any of them are intact.

So, it doesn't hamper puppy production - it just makes it impossible to have a serious breeding program.

What advantage is there in forbidding keeping additional intact dogs, especially if one is breeding less than 4 litters? This is the primary serious breeder objection to HEART - and no remotely adequate explanation for it has even been given.

Most serious breeders keep dogs for several years before they ever breed them - may spend years deciding IF they're ever going to breed an individual or not. They have young dogs they are sizing up, adults they are working or competing with, and oldsters that are retired. Most usually have a dog or two they've taken back (even with the most careful placements, death, disease, and divorce can send a dog back to its breeder.)

HEART also, BTW, makes it impossible for a repsonsible breeder to take back and rehome the dogs he or she breeds, as that would put him or her over the 4 dog limit.

You think that inadequate genetic diversity and not taking back dogs are good things? Give me a break.

Good, responsible breeders are not the enemy. HEART went out of its way to attack them, and its advocates have done everything to treat serious, responsible breeders like criminals. Now its advocates are surprised that people are still upset. News flash - these people will still be upset when they die of old age.

I've spent a lifetime on my breeding program. I will fight for it to my dying day. It doesn't make me a thin dime - but it's my life's work, and I care about it more than anything else in my life except my family.

There is NO reason to put the welfare of unwanted animals, and the rights of GOOD breeders, in conflict. You did that by writing bad law.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Mr. Baca for supporting the HEART ordinance and thank you!

This ordinance does far more than just create breeding limits and licenses. The ordinance also focuses on the prevention of cruelty to animals. That is an important issue to all of us with a "HEART" for the animals we love and care for and no longer want to see starving animals on the streets.

My dog votes for Baca!

Anonymous said...

Actually, "my dog votes" is a trademark - for a national group that opposes breed specific legislation and mandatory spay/neuter. The group, if I remember correctly, came out AGAINST the Albuquerque HEART ordinance. See

HEART did not need to hurt the good guys. Its problems were noted in Dog Fancy - when it noted Albuquerque was dog friendly, and received dozens of letters expressing concern about HEART, the editors replied with the same concerns I have - Quote from Dog Fancy below:

"The Editor says: We are familiar with HEART and understand why breeders and other dog and animal lovers are concerned. Having firsthand experience with the adoption of new animal control ordinances, we know that efforts to protect a community’s pets often go overboard, causing a groundswell of reaction that typically leads to a better, more balanced ordinance.
We did not select Albuquerque because of the HEART ordinance, but because of the effort that’s being made to remedy Albuquerque’s homeless dog problems, plus amenities that the city offers to dog owners.
An editorial in The Albuquerque Tribune said it very well: “HEART is not perfect. It may well be a bit extreme and probably needs some tweaking. Indeed, Mayor Martin Chavez, who did not hesitate to endorse and sign the ordinance, doesn't believe some sections will be enforceable. But the good outweighs the potential harm by a mile.”
It’s now up to concerned citizens and responsible breeders to help the city “tweak” the law into one that works, for breeders, owners, and the city’s vulnerable animals. This is a common process when new city laws are enacted."

Why not admit the problems with the law - which have been pointed out by dozens of people, including several national dog magazines and including Dog Fancy, as quoted above - instead of defending the indefensible? And fix them?

ABQDog said...

It's preposterous to say that it's "virtually impossible" for people to breed their dogs. HEART does make it more expensive which, of course, cuts into the profit margin on their animal products.

This is the real reason irresponsible breeders are up in arms. They won't make as much money as they did before. Why else make such an incredible fuss? Is creating litters of puppies just so wonderful that it's worth this kind of fight?

Serious, responsible breeders should have no problem with a slightly higher price and fewer litters. Hobby breeders should get another hobby -- creating unncessary dogs for fun is arrogant and irresponsible.

Because we euthanize so many adoptable animals, it only makes sense to limit the number of new animals. Breeders say that their dogs aren't the problem, yet thousands of purebred dogs die in shelters every year, where do they come from?

HEART may not be perfect, but it's a huge step in the right direction towards controlling our animal population and reducing euthanasia rates. We at ABQDog proudly endorse Mr. Baca's support of this important legislation.

Anonymous said...

You aren't listening - which pretty much sums up the entire problem with HEART.

Go back and reread the thread in this blog. It is virtually impossible to be a serious, committed breeder under HEART, largely because of the extremely low limits on the number of animals permitted.

HEART's expenses are not the main issue. You might want to actually LISTEN to what people are saying - which, of course, would be a major change from the way HEART was handled.

Why make such an incredible fuss? This is my life's work. My breed of dog means more to me than anything else except my family.

Prserving that is worth any sacrifice, any amount of effort, to preserve the breed and the bloodline to which I have dedicated my life. I will NEVER give up on this. I will spend every cent I have fighting laws like this.

It has NOTHING to do with making money, and it has NOTHING to do with irresponsible breeders.

Serious, responsible breeders - who are also called hobby breeders, to indicate that they are not a business - are not concerned about "fewer litters." Virtually none have as many as 4 litters per year. The problem is the incredibly low and ironclad limit on the number of dogs you can have.

THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NUMBER OF PUPS PRODUCED. It has to do with genetic diversity and the ability to have a serious breeding program.

Purebred dogs in shelters typically come from casual breeders and from commercial breeders. Code of ethics breeders - the serious, responsible breeders - (and you can go on the web page of any breed club and read those codes of ethics) take back their dogs at any point in their life - and have contracts that require return if the owner cannot keep it. Their pups never have to go to shelters, or risk being euthanized, because they have a lifetime safety net.

ABQDog, perhaps you might want to spend a few days with serious, ethical breeders. You'd find out that, while many call it a "hobby", they're dead serious about it - and they do not cause the dogs in shelters. In fact, they lead the way in showing others how to do things the right way.

In most cities, those breeders are considered the gold standard for how things should be done, and welcomed as partners in helping unwanted animals. Albuquerque has needlessly demonized the good guys. It's sad.

You should be ashamed.

And Jim Baca should listen - because a law that hurts the good guys is not a good law.

Anonymous said...

Okay, how about a little dose of reality here: The NM Land Commisioner office is a state office; the HEART ordinance is an Albuquerque ordinance. Whatever Baca's position on that ordinance might be, the powers and responsibilities of the office he's seeking have absolutely ZERO connection to do with local statutes that are the products of the county or city political process.

So, with the wildly off-topic smokescreen that seems to be all the rage here at the moment cleared up a bit, is there a particular issue that Mr. Baca might actually have some influence upon that you folks disagree with, or should we move into his positions on capital punishment, cigarette advertising, and gay marriage? Got problems with HEART? You're barking up the wrong tree in this race - it's about the LAND, stupids.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, guy, but you've apparently missed the point - Mayor Chavez is pushing to take HEART statewide in the STATE legislative session in January. Not as a local issue, but as a statewide issue that will affect hunters with dogs and all other dog breeders.

Baca has endorsed HEART. If he gets voted in and pushes it statewide, that endorsement could have some influence on whether or not HEART's voted in statewide.

I know, for a fact, that many hunting dog owners care a WHOLE lot about this.

Jim Baca said...

This has been an interesting exchange that, with the last comment, has turned into a some sort of anti hunting thing. Wag the Dog....for my opponent. The real danger is my opponent closing access to hunters by trading the best state lands to private game ranches, which he hunts at all the time. So much for the average New Mexico hunter getting onto good lands.

Anonymous said...

"Mayor Chavez is pushing to take HEART statewide in the STATE legislative session in January."

Perhaps he is. If so, what exactly is the connection between Albuquerque's Mayor with the State Land Commissioner's office that you seem to be suggesting?

Would either Baca or Lyons be in a position to have any real effect upon a statewide HEART-type law? No. As you point out yourself, it would be up to the legislature.

So no, I'm not missing the point. The issues to discuss here are the environment, the management of our state lands, and the protection of NM resources from exploitation by outside interests, among others. Pointing at either land commissioner candidate's stances on issues that are off-topic is a waste of time, so this post is the last time I'm devoting to discussing the price of beans in China.

How about discussing the drilling on Otero Mesa? How about New Mexico's water supply - our lifeblood here in the desert? How about some serious discussion of the issues at hand?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who supports taking HEART statewide in NM is of great concern to me and a lot of other people. Yes, having a politician take a stance in favor of legislation does make a difference in getting it passed - even if he can't directly vote on it.

I was hoping for some sort of statement like "I would of course not support any legislation that unfairly punishes the innocent, and I would review it in that light before I gave it my support." In other words, at least some sign of thoughtfulness about this issue, which matters passionately to a lot of people.

Not something about "wag the dog", which I'm assuming is a pun of some sort.

I happen to care, a whole lot, about the ability to breed dogs responsibly and legally.

There's an entire national group of hunters and animal owners (SAOVA - check out that review and endorse politicians based on how they affect hunters and animal owners. These sorts of issues are MAJOR concerns in the ranking. Apparently a lot of other people feel like I do.


Yvonne said...

Hmmm... all these anonymous posts (although I'm sure it is the same whiney guy, again and again) from breeder(s) who don't want to show their face, play their hand, or admit their ignorance.

HEART does NOT prevent breeders from pursuing their hobby, but it is quite popular in these times to misrepresent that simple truth. Every breeder believes themselves to be honorable and altruistic, but how does someone like Kassabji get away with animal abuse until a court case must be held to end it? At present, animals have to die, before you can defend them! Breeders should not expect their wishes to trump those of every other citizen who objects not only to the inhumanity of needless euthanasia, but to the costs of supporting others' irresponsibility.

I've yet to hear any breeder think beyond their own self-interest and offer any solution to this horrible social disease; the disposal and destruction of healthy animals! If it were just a matter of "educating the public", then there would be no more DWIs either! All this spin is just smoke to cover the real issue - that you don't want any regulatory "interference" at all.

I'm SO sick of the hateful and thug-ish intimidation of anyone who supports HEART; the threats, the recalls, the petitions, the court cases. Of course, how can anyone expect you to care for animals if you don't even like people very much? Threatening Jim Baca with retaliation is really beyond stupid. But go right ahead; you can thank Pat Lyons if your beloved hunting dog gets caught in a leg hold trap intended for other species.

Anonymous said...

HEART does prevent ethical, responsible breeders from pursuing serious breeding programs. Claiming otherwise doesn't change the truth - a limit of 4 dogs makes it impossible to have a serious breeding program. More dogs doesn't mean breeding more - it means having more dogs to choose from.

The responsible breeders were not causing problems, and would have liked to have been part of the solution - until they were turned into scapegoats. Sorry.

I haven't seen any hateful or thuggish intimidation of anyone - except hateful and thuggish attempts to destroy breeders.

The main objection, Yvonne, from you and your compatriots, is that once you stomped us, we haven't stayed stomped. We want a law that works for us - not a law that unfairly destroys us.

We won't go away, and we won't forget.

On this thread, several times, people have asked - if you're not breeding more, why can't you keep more dogs, enough for a serious breeding program?

No one has asked to be able to breed more.

From the pro-HEART side, not a single person has explained why, if someone is not breeding more, they should not be allowed to keep an adequate number of dogs for a serious breeding program. After all, if it's more dogs but not more puppies, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

I have seen an entire community destroyed by a badly written law - and constant and mean-spirited browbeating of people who object to their own life dreams being destroyed - people who were not causing the problem - while the pro-HEART people ignore the proven solutions that have worked other places.

Ethical breeders have worked for years to help unwanted animals - voluntarily limiting the number of litters they breed, educating buyers, providing a lifetime safety net for animals they breed, working to help rescue, and working to help local shelters and humane societies.

No one has threatened anyone with "retaliation" - but people who do not agree with you are not going to vote for you. That isn't retaliation. That's common sense.

And Yvonne, you should learn a little about unwanted animals, which you apparently know next to nothing about.

Did you know that 75% of the dogs in shelters are mixed breed, most of them from unwanted and unplanned litters? That's a HSUS statistic at

Destroying responsible and ethical breeders does not help these dogs, because these litters were not planned in the first place.

If you eliminated unwanted and unplanned litters, we would be in population equilibrium today.

Did you know that purebreds are only a third as likely to be relinquished, and, except for pit bulls, more than twice as likely to be adopted if they do wind up in a shelter?

Did you know that most purebreds euthanized in shelters are pit bulls and similar breeds, presumably because people are afraid of adopting pit bulls without a known history?

Net is that about 90-95% of the animals euthanized in shelters are cats, pit bulls, and mixed breed dogs. Each has a little bit different need.

Did you know that the number of dogs and cats euthanized has dropped from over 15 million nationally to 3-4 million, with most of those being euthanized being cats (see HSUS link above). Most of the dogs are mixes and pits.

Did you know that experts expect pet population to be in equilibrium nationally within 10 years - with no adoptable pets euthanized?

Did you know that the three places in the entire country that have successfully become no-kill do NOT have mandatory spay/neuter laws - and work cooperatively with all parts of the community, including the responsible breeder community? See

Did you know that the acknowledged mastermind of no kill in the US, and the man responsible for the only 3 no-kill communities in the US, Nathan Winograd of, does not endorse very controlling or punitive laws, and does not endorse mandatory spay/neuter?

Several breeders have suggested following a nokillsolutions framework. They offered to help do so. This is a positive and proven solution. They were all ignored.

You'd rather demonize breeders than try what has been proven to work to help animals.

Fact is, most ethical and responsible breeders do care about unwanted animals, and would still be willing to help and cooperate if you treated them respectfully as part of the solution, rather than as part of the problem.

Most ethical and responsible breeders disapprove of bad breeders more than you do.

We don't hate people. We do love animals. We want to help, and it sounds like at least some of us know more about how to help effectively than you do. And if you'd stop demonizing us, you'd realize that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jim Baca, for endorsing the HEART ordinance and for keeping your priorities straight. With countless animals suffering abuse and unnecessary euthanasia, it’s clear who the good guy is here—and the smart one too.

Anonymous said...

The nokillsolutions approach was less expensive, qualified for Maddies Fund grants that would have saved taxpayers even more money, and was supported by the same people who are now "doggedly" fighting the bad provisions in HEART.

Further, HEART's approach has not worked as well as nokillsolutions - no city in the country with the HEART approach has gotten to no kill. NONE. Los Angeles, which was held up as a template by the HEART advocates, was described as an example of what NOT to do by Animal People, an animal rights magazine that is not pro-breeder.

It's not smart to write a law that costs more, rejects private funds, hurts innocent people, and doesn't work well.

The good guy in promoting no killing of adoptable animals is Nathan Winograd - whose methods have worked. Go to, and read about Creating a No Kill Community under the library section.

Those methods cost less, and work better. They gain consensus in the community rather than controversy - those no kill communities don't have these sorts of ugly and counterproductive battles. And the nokillsolutions approach leaves communities eligible for Maddies' Fund grants - which HEART does not qualify for.

Too bad Albuquerque ignored the proven methods that work. That's NOT smart.

Anonymous said...

Concern about “preserving bloodlines” greatly pales in comparison to the fact that innocent animals are being abused and needlessly put to death. These animals need the help of those who truly care about their welfare, regardless of pedigree.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Jim Baca for endorsing and continuing to support HEART. You are a hero to people and animals alike. This is an ordinance whose time has come and those in favor of it are at the forefront of creating a humane society. Those who oppose it cannot truly understand the scope of the problem of animal abuse—or its repurcussions for humankind.

Anonymous said...

Concerns about "preserving bloodlines" are in no way in conflict with helping homeless animals. In fact, with good laws, the same people worried about preserving their bloodlines are actively working to help unwanted and homeless animals. That's the tragedy of the HEART ordinance - it set up conflicts where none should exist.

Those in favor of HEART are not at the forefront of creating a humane society. Those in favor of it appear to be badly informed about how no-kill communities are built. The three no kill communities were built by an entirely different approach, which the HEART advocates have rejected without study.

Those who are opposing HEART are promoting a better, fairer, cheaper way that has worked better FOR THE ANIMALS.

The folks pushing this appear to care more about "punishing" those that they disagree with than they do with helping animals. Otherwise, why would they reject a better approach with a better track record?

Anonymous said...

Clarification -

The folks pushing HEART appear to care more about "punishing" those that they disagree with than they do with helping animals. Otherwise, why would they reject a better approach with a better track record?

Anonymous said...

Creating more animals when there is already overpopulation that leads to abandonment and euthanasia is most certainly in conflict with helping homeless animals—regardless of what percentage of those animals are purebred. Every animal counts. Those who really care will not want to contribute to the problem in any degree. HEART advocates have more than done their homework on different approaches to this issue. Thanks Jim Baca, for recognizing this and for supporting HEART.

Anonymous said...

So your solution is to destroy all dog and cat breeds, some of which have been around for millenia? You think that will help unwanted animals?

Right now, today, there are more unwanted animal births than there are unwanted animals euthanized.

Read that again. If we can prevent unplanned and unwanted births, we are in a net shortage of pets TODAY.

Planned and wanted births do much better in staying in their homes, as you would expect. Planned and wanted births from serious responsible breeders do best of all.

If we prevent unplanned and unwanted births, we are in equilibrium as much as can be done from the "supply" end.

We also will need to attend to placements and rehoming, and address the special issues of feral cats and pit bulls - both have separate issues and both represent a high percentage, today, of all animals euthanized.

The secret to nokill is not stopping deliberately bred and wanted puppies, any more than the secret to avoiding child abuse is for everyone to stop having children.

Think voluntary low cost s/n for those who want it, and a safety net for those animals who lose their "jobs" as pets.

If you lose dog breeds this generation, they are gone forever. You can't get them back.

HEART advocates have not done their homework on different approaches to this issue - because the approach they chose is an approach that has failed to result in no-kill anywhere in the entire USA.

You have not done your homework. Even worse, you have not thought things through. You just want someone to blame. The anger and hostility of HEART advocates has blinded them to the proven good choices.

Further, I think everyone who loves purebred dogs should be aware that you are explictly stating that no deliberate breeding, whatsoever, should take place. That means no more dog breeds, including no more hunting dogs, no more working dogs, and no more of the many breeds of pet dogs that make our lives better.

They don't need to be sacrificed to help homeless animals - and the communities that have gone no-kill have rejected such destructive and illogical policies. Too bad there wasn't more common sense and fact seeking in the HEART process.

J.R. said...

“no city in the country with the HEART approach has gotten to no kill.” HEART has not been instituted anywhere before. It covers a number of issues other than breeding, and includes provisions that apply to animals other than dogs, though the bulk of discussion here suggests otherwise, which is a disservice to HEART and the community it seeks to protect. If anyone is in doubt, they should just look it up and decide for themselves.

Anonymous said...

However, no-kill has been instituted successfully in a number of cities - 3 of which are now fully at no-kill of adoptable animals (those that are incurably ill and suffering or that are unsafe to place may still be euthanized.) All 3 used the nokillsolutions approach.

Often, when something has not been tried before, it's because it's not a very good idea. "We stand on the shoulders of giants" - and we learn from those who have come before us.

HEART's most notable problems are with the way it dealt with serious dog breeders - which were treated as the enemy, as the post above starting with "creating more animals" clearly indicates.

As that post explicitly admits, many of HEARTs proponents want no deliberate breeding at all, even at the loss of all dog (and all other domestic animal) breeds.

Notice no one has come up with even a weak justification for some of the onerous rules that don't appear to do any good - in fact, no one has even addressed the questions as to WHY some arbitrary rules were set - until someone finally broke down and admitted they are opposed to ALL breeding, no matter how limited, no matter how ethical.

Had responsible, ethical, "code of ethics" dog breeders been treated decently, instead of as the enemy to be crushed, HEART would not have had all of this opposition.

That was a choice made by HEART's proponents. The fact that people do tend to push back when they're unfairly demonized and scapegoated should not come as a surprise.

People here have asked when serious breeders, show dog people, and hunting dog owners will stop pushing back against this. The answer is never. This is the way it's going to be, from here on out to the forseeable future. The saddest thing is that virtually every person pushing back against HEART would have gladly helped with a balanced law to help homeless animals. HEART's proponents chose to make enemies out of good people who would have liked to have helped animals.

That's a real shame.

Anonymous said...

jeez.. it sure seems as though people are letting off some major steam in an arena that has run its course. This has gone so far beyond hunting dogs. Mr. Baca addressed the hunting dog and hunting in general issue. It seems that y'all should find a more appropriate forum for this heated banter. Or is this a "who gets the last word" situation.

KathyF said...

Hmmm...I spend some time with dog people, and I've never ever heard of a responsible dog breeder with 21 dogs.

Sounds more like a puppy mill to me.

Rodney Adams said...

References to the story at

are irrelevant to Albuquerque. A semi-rural area of 100,000 with a shelter that takes in a mere 3,000 animals a year in no way compares to the tens of thousands of animals euthanized in this city each year. In fact, more animals enter the CABQ animal shelters yearly than in Orange County, California.

And I really wish these breeders who don't even live in the city would stop trying to interfere in city matters for no other reason than their own financial interest.

Anonymous said...

Rodney, you need to read a bit more carefully. The nokillsolutions strategy is the approach that worked in San Francisco. San Francisco is not a semi-rural area.

Tompkins County, which I assume is what you're referring to, is just one of the 3 places it has worked to get to full no-kill. Many other areas, including some large urban areas, are working towards that goal, with excellent success.

The city has made HEART everyone's business. Albuquerque is aggressively trying to interfere with statewide matters, by ramming HEART down everyone's throat. They are already trying to force it on neighboring localities, and are now actively pushing it at the state level. There are even mutterings of pushing it nationwide! So they shouldn't whine when folks push back. What's that nice cliche? "You reap what you sow"?

As far as "no other reason than their own financial interest" - I have no financial benefit from dogs, and neither do any of the other folks I know fighting HEART. I would be better off - to the tune of a few tens of thousands of dollars per year - if I DIDN'T have dogs. They are a large net expense, not a profit center.

This is my hobby and my passion, not a "financial interest." Perhaps if you all could get that through your heads, you might actually be able to have honest dialogue with the people you're persecuting. People will give up and go away on money matters. They'll fight to the bitter end over what they really care about.

For that matter, anyone who cares enough to spend a few tens of thousands of dollars a year on a hobby, probably cares enough to fight for it tooth and nail when it's threatened. Most people who show dogs or work dogs spend that much.

Kathy, you need to learn what a puppy mill actually is, and what a serious breeder is. Find some serious dog people - folks who show dogs or work dogs or who breed performance dogs - people who are nationally known and respected in their breed.

Many responsible dog breeders have 10-20 dogs. Very few serious dog breeders have less than 10. They often have multiple family members involved in training, exercising, and caring for the dogs.

Typically a third to half of the dogs are spayed or neutered - either veterans or dogs taken back that were displaced. I have two right now in their teens, neutered, whose owner died. They will likely stay with me the rest of their lives. About half of my dogs are elderly veterans. If I was a puppy mill, I'd be keeping them because .... why exactly?

Many of the remainder are young adults being trained and worked.

Of the 21 dogs I have right now, only 4 are of breeding age and are intact and have actually had a litter at any point in their life. The rest of the intact dogs are either retired (several without have ever produced a litter) and waiting to be s/n, or else are young dogs that have not yet had a litter.

I have never had more than 2 litters in a year, and I have had many, many more years with zero litters than with 2. My average is less than one litter per year.

There is a huge difference between a puppy mill and a serious dog breeder.

How do you tell a puppy mill? When people are trying to make money, they minimize the number of dogs, keep only fertile adults, and maximize the number of litters per dog. If one wanted to make money, you would have fewer dogs and more puppies. You would not keep multiple retired dogs, or dogs that have been displaced, or multiple dogs that might have zero, one or two litters in a lifetime.

What serious dog people are asking for is the ability to have a limited number of puppies but more ADULT dogs to maintain greater genetic diversity in the breed and in the bloodline. That is the exact OPPOSITE of what someone trying to make money would want to do.

This is also, BTW, the recommendation of the geneticists who advise serious breeders - not to overconcentrate the gene pool by using the same male or female too often. Look up "popular sire syndrome."

Tired of reading this said...

Is there a point to all this babbling? This is the LAND COMMISSIONER RACE.

The HEART ordinance has not only been passed in Albuquerque; it has been challenged and upheld. furthermore, as one of the many anonymous posters has already pointed out, it's a completely moot point when viewed in the context of the Land commisioner office.

Brian said...

I completely agree that we need to stay on track here and discuss issues directly related to Jim Baca's candidacy for State Land Commissioner. Jim has vowed to prohibit the use of steel leg hold traps (aka lock jaw traps) on all state land. These devices cause unbearable suffering to the unfortunate animals who step on them. Such animals writhe in pain for days on end, often attempting to chew off their feet in desperation to free themselves of this agony. Jim has stated that once you have seen an animal that has been stuck for days in a leg hold trap, it's a sight you never forget for the rest of your life.

Pat Lyons' position, on the other hand, is that using these traps is perfectly alright if that's what the individual ranchers elect to do. How can any person of conscience allow such barbaric instruments of animal torture to exist in this day and age? We know there are far better, quicker, more efficient and humane ways to control predatory animals than through the use of leg hold traps, which often also catch innocent wildlife or people's pets. Most of the folks writing here feel passionately about animals. Let's all get behind Jim and put an end to the use of barbaric devices that cause unspeakable prolonged suffering to innocent creatures who deserve better.